[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: STUDY QUESTION: Can amino acid profiling differentiate between human oocytes with differing competence to mature to metaphase II (MII) in vitro? SUMMARY ANSWER: Oocytes which remained arrested at the germinal vesicle (GV) stage after 24 h of in vitro maturation (IVM) displayed differences in the depletion/appearance of amino acids compared with oocytes which progressed to MII and patient age, infertile diagnosis and ovarian stimulation regime significantly affected oocyte amino acid turnover during IVM. WHAT IS KNOWN ALREADY: Amino acid profiling has been proposed as a technique which can distinguish between human pronucleate zygotes and cleavage stage embryos with the potential to develop to the blastocyst stage and implant to produce a pregnancy and those that arrest. Most recently, the amino acid turnover by individual bovine oocytes has been shown to be predictive of oocyte developmental competence as indicated by the gamete's capacity to undergo fertilization and early cleavage divisions in vitro. STUDY DESIGN, SIZE, DURATION: The study was conducted between March 2005 and March 2010. A total of 216 oocytes which were at the GV or metaphase I (MI) stages at the time of ICSI were donated by 67 patients. PARTICIPANTS/MATERIALS, SETTINGS, METHODS: The research was conducted in university research laboratories affiliated to a hospital-based infertility clinic. Oocytes were cultured for 24 h and the depletion/appearance of amino acids was measured during the final 6 h of IVM. Amino acid turnover was analysed in relation to oocyte meiotic progression, patient age, disease aetiology and controlled ovarian stimulation regime. MAIN RESULTS AND THE ROLE OF CHANCE: The depletion/appearance of key amino acids was linked to the maturation potential of human oocytes in vitro. Oocytes which arrested at the GV stage (n = 9) depleted significantly more valine and isoleucine than those which progressed to MI (n = 32) or MII (n = 107) (P < 0.05). Glutamate, glutamine, arginine and valine depletion or appearance differed in MII versus degenerating oocytes (n = 20) (P < 0.05). Glutamine, arginine, methionine, phenylalanine, total depletion and total turnover all differed in oocytes from patients aged < 35 years versus patients ≥35 years (P < 0.05). MII oocytes obtained following ovarian stimulation with recombinant FSH depleted more isoleucine (P < 0.05) and more alanine and lysine (P < 0.05) appeared than oocytes from hMG-stimulated cycles. MII oocytes from patients with a polycystic ovary (PCO) morphology (n = 33) depleted more serine (P < 0.05) than oocytes from women with normal ovaries (n = 61). LIMITATIONS, REASONS FOR CAUTION: Immature oocytes collected at the time of ICSI were used as the model for human oocyte maturation. These oocytes have therefore failed to respond to the ovulatory hCG trigger in vivo (they are meiotically incompetent), and have limited capacity to support embryo development in vitro. The lack of cumulus cells and stress of the conditions in vitro may have influenced turnover of amino acids, and owing to the small sample sizes further studies are required to confirm these findings. WIDER IMPLICATIONS OF THE FINDINGS: The findings provide support for the hypothesis that oocyte metabolism reflects oocyte quality. Longitudinal studies are required to link these functional metabolic indices of human oocyte quality with embryo developmental competence. Oocyte amino acid profiling may be a useful tool to quantify the impact of new assisted reproduction technologies (ART) on oocyte quality. STUDY FUNDING/COMPETING INTERESTS: This project was funded by the UK Biology and Biotechnology Research Council (BB/C007395/1) and the Medical Research Council (G 0800250). K.E.H was in receipt of a British Fertility Society/Merck Serono studentship. H.J.L. is a shareholder in Novocellus Ltd, a company which seeks to devise a non-invasive biochemical test of embryo health.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: This study investigated the relationship between human preimplantation embryo metabolism and aneuploidy rates during development in vitro. One hundred and eighty-eight fresh and cryopreserved embryos from 59 patients (33.9 +/- 0.6 years) were cultured for 2-5 days. The turnover of 18 amino acids was measured in spent media by high-performance liquid chromatography. Embryos were either fixed for interphase fluorescent in situ hybridization analysis of chromosomes 13, 18, 19, 21, X or Y, or were assayed for mitochondrial activity. Amino acid turnover was different (P < 0.05) between stage-matched fresh and cryopreserved embryos due to blastomere loss following warming. The proportion of embryos with aneuploid cells increased as cell division progressed from pronucleate- (23%) to late cleavage stages (50-70%). Asparagine, glycine and valine turnover was significantly different between uniformly genetically normal and uniformly abnormal embryos on Days 2-3 of culture. By Days 3-4, the profiles of serine, leucine and lysine differed between uniformly euploid versus aneuploid embryos. Gender significantly (P < 0.05) affected the metabolism of tryptophan, leucine and asparagine by cleavage-stage embryos. Pronucleate zygotes had a significantly higher proportion of active:inactive mitochondria compared with cleavage-stage embryos. Furthermore, mitochondrial activity was correlated (P < 0.05) with altered aspartate and glutamine turnover. These results demonstrate the association between the metabolism, cytogenetic composition and health of human embryos in vitro.
Molecular Human Reproduction 08/2010; 16(8):557-69. · 4.54 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To quantify aneuploidy in inseminated, injected, and noninjected oocytes from infertility patients using Multifluor fluorescence in situ hybridization (M-FISH).
Reproductive biology group, academic unit of pediatrics, obstetrics, and gynecology.
Forty-eight patients undergoing ovarian stimulation and either intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) or conventional in vitro fertilization (IVF).
M-FISH karyotyping of 67 metaphase II oocytes, including noninjected in vitro matured oocytes, and injected inseminated-failed fertilized oocytes.
Thirty-nine percent of oocytes were aneuploid, with nondisjunction of chromosomes in 34% of oocytes and predivision of chromatids in 10%. There was no difference in aneuploidy rates between ICSI noninjected in vitro matured oocytes and injected, failed fertilized oocytes. Chromosomes most frequently involved in aneuploidy were 15, 18, 19, 22, and X. In seven injected ICSI MII oocytes, the prematurely condensed sperm chromatin was karyotyped by M-FISH.
M-FISH was used to diagnose aneuploidy at maternal meiosis I in 39% of oocytes, and M-FISH karyotyping of sperm was demonstrated.
Fertility and Sterility 11/2003; 80(4):1003-11. · 4.17 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: IVF is limited by low success rates and a confounding high multiple birth rate contributing to prematurity, increased neonatal mortality and child handicap. These problems could be overcome if single embryos of known developmental competence could be selected for transfer on day 2/3 of development, but current methods, which rely on morphological appearance, are poor predictors of viability.
We have measured non-invasively the depletion/appearance (i.e. turnover) of a physiological mixture of 18 amino acids by single human embryos during in-vitro culture using high performance liquid chromatography.
From the time of transfer (day 2/3), embryos with future competence to develop to the blastocyst stage (day 5/6) exhibit amino acid flux patterns distinct from those of embryos with similar morphological appearance which arrest. Significantly, the profiles of Ala, Arg, Gln, Met and Asn flux predict blastocyst potentiality at >95%. The amino acid most consistently depleted throughout development by those embryos which form blastocysts was leucine. Of the amino acids which were produced, the most striking was alanine, which appeared in increasing amounts throughout development.
Non-invasive amino acid profiling has the potential to select developmentally competent single embryos for transfer, thereby increasing the success rate and eliminating multiple births in IVF.
Human Reproduction 04/2002; 17(4):999-1005. · 4.67 Impact Factor